The Middle East in detailed recapitulation, by a British correspondent who covered the front from August 1941 to August 1942. Honest criticism, personal interpretation, clarification of campaigns, military tactics, etc. There is enough of his personal life to take this out of the class of the purely professional observer, and to underscore the bitter blows which characterised this war zone. Auchinleck -- and his failure to bring victory out of the muddle of brass hat conservatism; what the British did and what happened and why, the complicated mosaic of reasons for setbacks, the hard-won successes, the stalemates, behind the headlines. Then from Cairo to Persia, to Syria, to India and the failure of the Cripps mission; reports on interviews with Indian leaders; back to Gasala, Tobruk and Alamein. A pattern of strains and balances of strategy and politics. A book for the thoughtful student of the war, rather than the average layman seeking a quick, dramatic view. This overlaps to some extent Michie's book, Retreat to Victory (see page 307), but brings the story up to August '42.